Decentralized Diaries for the Week of 7/10/23


Larry Fink is finally a “crypto believer”.

While his intents seem to be a good thing for the space, it remains “yet to be seen” if this will turn the tide for the industry.

NASDAQ refiled BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF application.

As Meta and Twitter continued their face-off (per the Threads launch), Twitter’s money transmitter push continued.

Plus, RFK has Bitcoin holdings (who else is surprised?).

Also, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao deflected rumors following a mass exodus of top executives from Binance’s American arm.

These are the decentralized diaries!

Bitcoin Prices Hit $31k, at $30k

Bitcoin prices reached a $31,383.37 high and then swung to a $29,777.28 low. As at 7/10/23, Bitcoin prices are at $30,240.37.

As for the altcoins, Ethereum (ETH) is at $1,865.24, Polkadot (DOT) $5.09, Avalanche (AVAX) $13.32,  and Solana (SOL) at $20.84.

NASDAQ Refiled BlackRock’s ETF Application

NASDAQ refiled a 19b-4 form with the SEC as part of the BlackRock-led ” iShares Bitcoin Trust” application.

The move comes on the heels of similar moves by other heavyweights after concerns from the regulator over further clarity. The exchange also indicated a “surveillance sharing” agreement with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. 

In related news, and per media reports, BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink made positive comments about Bitcoin and the crypto industry, referring to Bitcoin as “an international asset” and crypto’s role as “digitalizing gold, in many ways”.

The SEC also indicated it would engage with all Bitcoin ETF applicants. 

The SEC Alleged that Coinbase Knew of Legal Infractions 

In response to the jurisdictional legal challenge by Coinbase in the ongoing legal drama between the SEC and the cryptocurrency exchange, the regulator filed a letter with the District Court for the Southern District of New York addressed to Judge Katherine Polk Failla. 

In the letter, the SEC said Coinbase was aware its actions could “potentially” fall under federal securities laws, citing disclosures. 

An analyst with investment bank, Piper Sandler downgraded the cryptocurrency exchange, citing legal issues and ongoing crypto market uncertainty. 

Bitwage Suspended USDC Payments for U.S. Residents 

Crypto payroll firm Bitwage halted payments via the USDC stablecoin for U.S. residents, citing regulatory concerns.

Other options are Bitcoin, USDT, Celo (CUSD), and DAI.

Voyager Digital Warned Customers About Scam Emails

Voyager Digital alerted customers about fraudulent phishing emails attempting to impersonate the bankrupt exchange and warned that it will never reach out to customers to request personal details, including wallet seed phrases. 

 BarnBridge DAO Suspended Activities Following SEC Probe 

Attorneys to DeFi crosschain DeFi platform BarnBridge DAO informed project members to suspend all activities, citing a “private” probe by the SEC. 

Douglas Park, legal counsel for the project, also indicated that members should not receive compensation for work done and that liquidity pools should be closed. 

Binance.US Talents Exited En masse, CZ Refuted SEC Actions as the Cause

There was some drama at Binance.US, the American arm of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, with reports of the exit of top executives. 

Per media reports, top talents left the organization, citing speculations that identified Binance.US’s run-in with the SEC as a possible reason.  

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao refuted the claims, indicating that such moves by human resources were normal. 

In related news, Binance announced the delisting of several altcoin trading pairs, including QTUM/BUSD, FORTH/BUSD, JST/BUSD, ATA/BUSD, SUN/BUSD, ZEN/BUSD and ZRX/BUSD. 

Paxos Trust Company halted BUSD stablecoin minting in February. 

Cboe Clear Digital Cleared a CFTC Regulatory Hurdle 

The digital asset space will soon have a new player with a revelation by Cboe Clear Digital, the digital asset exchange and clearinghouse subsidiary of the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) it had received CFTC approval to clear margined futures. 

Cboe Digital’s spot markets support the twenty-four-hour trading of Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, and the USDC stablecoin tokens. 

SlowMist: Over $30 Billion Crypto Tokens Stolen from 2012 Till Date

According to a report by blockchain security firm SlowMist, cryptospace users have lost over $30 billion worth of hacked tokens since 2012.

The report identified 116 EOS, 162 BNB Smart Chain, 217 Ethereum, and 117 exchange incidents, with exchanges losing over $10 billion. 

Twitter Received Multiple Money Transmitter Licenses

Rumors about a possible “Twitter token” resurfaced with the revelation of several money transmitter licenses handed to Twitter Payments LLC from New Hampshire, Missouri, and Michigan. 

The Twitter subsidiary applied for similar licenses in all 50 states.

Riot Platforms Reported Increased Bitcoin Balance, Deployed Texan Regulatory Markets Participation

Texan-based bitcoin miner Riot Platforms Inc. reported it mined 460 BTC in June, compared to 757 BTC a month earlier. 

The miner indicated that power sales to regulator ERCOT helped buoy $10 million in revenues despite the drop.

Circle Discreetly Unveiled Programmable Web3 Wallets

Web3 users will soon have options with the beta launch of Circle’s programmable wallets. 

The stablecoin issuer revealed the launch of its blockchain agnostic option, which allows developers to deploy wallets seamlessly, allowing for key storage and backed by Multi-party computation (MPC) on the security end of things. 

ARK Invest: 70% of Bitcoin Holdings Remain Unmoved in a Year

A report by ARK Invest identified an all-time high of Bitcoin holdings, with 70% of Bitcoin tokens remaining in situ. 

The report also indicated increased institutional interest in the token. 

RFK Jr.’s Financial Disclosures Indicate $100k-$250k Bitcoin Holdings

Recent filings by Robert. F. Kennedy Jr. (D), a top 2024 American presidential race hopeful, shows Bitcoin holdings of between $100k to $250k. 

Kennedy’s campaign has been pro-crypto, but the candidate earlier stated he wasn’t an investor.